In this chapter, we explain how prevent burning out by taking care of yourself and others. We discuss group wellbeing, action wellbeing and self-help.
🆘 Need help now? Check out Wellbeing Hotlines
Articles about wellbeing practices that you can implement as a group:
👉 Basics of group wellbeing (available soon!)
🏳️🌈 Health marginalised activists (not created yet, sub-article: Wellbeing LGBTQIA+ activists)
Articles about wellbeing practices that you can implement during your actions:
👉 Basics of action wellbeing (does not exist yet)
☮️ De-escalation (available soon!)
Articles for individuals that want to take care of their own wellbeing:
⚠️ Don't Panic guide: for if you need urgent help right now, also check out our wellbeing hotlines
Articles that have been written to cover special issues that are currently relevant (also make sure to check out campaigns that we support):
😔 Activist burnout (should be merged with Anxiety & Stress)
Why is wellbeing important?
This chapter is meant as a guide on how to safeguard the wellbeing of activists. In the process of trying to make a change, you might forget about your own wellbeing. You will learn how why the wellbeing of you and your fellow change-makers is vital for the long term effectiveness of your movement.
Many activists struggle with their mental and physical health, or see how the wellbeing of fellow change-makers is affected by activism. You might experience stress because you feel your contributions do not create any significant change. You might feel disappointed with yourself for not doing enough, or you feel helpless because others are not doing enough. You might fear being infiltrated by police or oppositional activists groups, and are not sure anymore who to trust.
This chapter is about acknowledging those difficulties and providing help for those who need it. In addition, we will talk about how to prevent mental and physical health issues. As so well put by Håkan Geijer: “Be gentle with each other so we can be dangerous together.”
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You can contribute: Whatever your experiences as activist are, they are valid and deserve to be heard. We want to provide the opportunity for people all over the world to share exchange their experiences. This way we can learn from each other and find comfort in our welcoming community.
Please make sure to treat each other with respect and dignity. You are free to share your experiences anonymously, if that makes you feel more comfortable. Find out more about how to contribute.
Write about topics that lots of people have questions about:
eco/climate anxiety, climate depression
Collect the most valuable resources on climate anxiety
Topics not covered a lot yet: Culture, Spirituality, Community
Make wellbeing guides more science-based (perhaps interview psychologists that have experience with activism?)
Monthly global searches*
negative effects of activism
positive effects of activism
keep activists motivated
How to deal with burnout
protest medical kit
medic pepper sprayed
self-care tools for activists
mental health resources for activists
*According to Semrush
Google Drive: Collection of mental health resources by Activist Handbook
Wellbeing and regenerative culture by Extinction Rebellion
Impacts of activism on health and wellbeing by The Commons
10 Great Resources on Activist Wellbeing by The Commons
Thriving Activist Toolkit by Center for the Advancement of Well-Being
Support & recovery by Code Rood
Consent Advocacy by Extinction Rebellion
Collection of articles on mental health by FYEG [Archived version]
Trauma Informed Design by TID
Wellbeing by The Commons Social Change Library
Beginner’s Guide to Self-Care for Activists from LiveYourDream.org.
Self-Care and Sustaining Activism: Infographic from Global Fund for Women.
Tips for Self-Care as an Activist from Direct Action Everywhere
Mapping Our Social Change Roles in a Time of Crisis by Deepa Iyer.
Personal ecology self-assessment kit from Mozilla.
How Organizations and Leaders Can Support Community Self-Care from Network Weaver
De-escalation Training Workshop by Extinction Rebellion [Video]
A Resource for Activists Working Through Trauma by Roots of Change Collective
Holding Our Groups Together in Hard Times by Holly Hammond
Collection: Wellbeing by ILGA-Europe Hub
How to Give Psychological First Aid (PFA) by ILGA-Europe Hub
Wellbeing during COVID-19 by ILGA-Europe Hub
Spirituality and Community Building
Diversity & inclusivity
Strategies and Activities for Reducing Racial Prejudice and Racism
Learning to be an Ally for People from Diverse Groups and Backgrounds
Creating Opportunities for Members of Groups to Identify Their Similarities, Differences, and Assets
Understanding Culture, Social Organization, and Leadership to Enhance Engagement
Power Dynamics and Inclusivity in Virtual Meetings by Evelyn Arellano
Why North-South Intersectionality Matters for Climate Justice